Mister Universo
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    Mister Universo

    Directed by

    • Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel

    Austria, Italy

    2016

    90 min

    • Italian

    Docufiction

    Toronto IFF - Contemporary World Cinema

    Tairo, a young lion-tamer, is unhappy. Losing his lucky charm gives him a reason to set off for a journey across Italy in search of Arthur Robin, a former Mister Universe, who gave him the charm a long time ago.

    Awards

    • Special Jury Mention (International Competition) - FF Locarno
    • The ExtraVALUE Film Award - Viennale
    • Special Mention - L'Europe autour de l'Europe
    • FIPRESCI Prize - Locarno Festival

    Festivals

    Labels & Line Ups

    Credits

    Cast
    Tairo Caroli
    Wendy Weber
    Arthur Robin
    Lilly Robin
    Screenplay
    Tizza Covi
    Cinematography
    Rainer Frimmel
    Editing
    Tizza Covi
    Production
    VENTO FILM
    Festival Bookings
    AUSTRIAN FILMS
    Sales
    BE FOR FILMS

    Press

    The Austrian-Italian duo’s airy docu-narrative approach once more yields wry, humane rewards.

    Guy Lodge, Variety

    Mister Universo is a very successful example of a cross-contamination between fiction and documentary.

    Giovanni Melogli, Cineuropa

    Covi and Frimmel’s work acts like a force of nature, showing what remains when the luck and the muscle have run out.

    Jay Kuehner, Cinema Scope

    Tizza Covi

    Tizza Covi

    Italy

    Our cinematic work is based on a long relationship with our protagonists and an honest interest in their life. The documentary approach interests us the most in terms of filmmaking. What reality gives you just can’t be reenacted.

    Born in Bolzano, Italy in 1971, she studied photography in Vienna and then worked as a freelance photographer in Rome. She has been collaborating with Rainer Frimmel on photography, theatre and film projects since 1996. Together they directed the documentaries THAT'S ALL (2001) and BABOOSKA (2005), their debut feature LHE LITTLE ONE (2009) premiered at Cannes IFF and screened at the Berlinale Generation. Their second feature, THE SHINE OF DAY (2012), won the Silver Leopard at Locarno FF for Best Actor. MISTER UNIVERSO (2016) was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at Locarno FF. Her latest work is the documentary NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD (2020), co-directed with Rainer Frimmel, which screened at Berlinale Panorama 2020.

    Selected Filmography

    Rainer Frimmel

    Rainer Frimmel

    Italy, Austria

    Our cinematic work is based on a long relationship with our protagonists and an honest interest in their life. The documentary approach interests us the most in terms of filmmaking. What reality gives you just can’t be reenacted.

    Born in 1971 in Vienna, Austria, where he studied photography. There he met fellow student Tizza Covi. Since 1996 the two have worked together on photography, theatre and cinema projects, which are characterised by a focus on a documentary approach, even in fiction. In 2002, he and Covi founded the independent production company Vento Film. Together, they made the following films among others: THAT'S ALL (2001), a portrait of a small Russian village Jasnaja Poljana, and BABOOSKA (2005), depicting the daily struggle for survival of today’s circus people living in Italy. The film received eight awards, including the Wolfgang Staudte Award at Berlinale, the Award for the Best Austrian Documentary at the Diagonale FF and the Award for the Best Italian Documentary at the Firenze FF. THE LITTLE ONE (2009) was their first feature film with Covi as script writer and editor and Frimmel as cameraman and director. His latest work is the documentary NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD (2020), co-directed with Tizza Covi, which screened at Berlinale Panorama 2020.

    Selected Filmography